#SmileAndNod DENIED!

Today I cannot smile and nod.

I am usually a content person, I wouldn’t say happy because well I’m not happy all the time. Most times I’m just trying to make it through the day without being noticed by anyone around me. I’m content, I accept myself as awkward and anti-social but I am also someone that is very loyal and open-minded.

Over the past week I have felt a cloud forming over-head. I am familiar with this cloud because it is a constant companion of mine. It usually likes to appear when my life is at a precipice. I could fall and fail or raise and feel the sun on my face. I want the sun, I NEED the sun.

When the recession hit Las Vegas in 2007 it completely swept my husband and I away. We lost our little apartment and had to move in with his parents. Oh the joy (Insert sarcasm here) It’s not to say I don’t love and feel grateful that I had family with a home large enough to take us in but I was always aware that I was not welcome. My mother in law is a wonderful person but is also very set in her ideas of how the world works. You’re supposed to get a job and keep said job until you retire. If anything else should occur you are to blame and she has no sympathy. I did not grow up in a home like that and can see how sometimes my husband can be so cynical. First I lost my job of 7 years, the only job I had ever known as an “adult” and felt very lost. I had no idea what my skill set was and why anyone would want to hire me. (PS I still feel that way now) GO SELF-ESTEEM!! Then about 6 months later my husband also lost his job. Did I mention I was still on unemployment? We went from making about $2500-$3000 a month to less than $1000. It was devastating.

I was able to eventually find a job at a few small businesses but the pay was worse than unemployment and the hours were never steady. My husband was able to take over a part-time job from his father that he still has to this day. In April 2010 I finally got a great job with a large company that I really enjoyed. I was there until February 2014. Through circumstance I left that job and am not sorry I did, I was no longer happy and the direction the company was/is taking isn’t in line with me. Thanks ok. I am now working through a temp agency for a company similar to my previous employer in industry but in no way the same in direction. It’s been a year and I want to be full time. I keep being told it is in the works and I believe that but I also know I have no health insurance, no pay increases and no paid time off in case of emergency. I have a plethora of skills but am dejected and insecure because no employer deems them worthy enough for hire

I don’t say any of this for sympathy, I say it to give background on why I cannot smile and nod today.

I am still struggling. My husband is still struggling. My mother is a saving grace because without her we would still be living with my in-laws in a room of about 8 x 11.

My husband travels around all day to multiple stores for his job. He cannot exceed 8 hours on any given day and we are not compensated for using our own vehicle for his travels. He cannot exceed 30 hours on a paycheck and does not receive benefits or PTO. He applies for full time work multiple times a week and yet never a phone call. He has been in the work force for over 20 years but can’t get a single call back. He has worked in the food, shipping and now merchandising industries so his skill set is very well rounded. Is it him? Is it too much experience or not enough? When did companies stop training employees or hiring people that have potential?  When did getting a call back at all take 6 months? Why does it seem that people that were laid off during the recession are shunned for having gaps in their work history now?

I guess I just needed to vent, I cannot smile and nod today because I’m tired. I work 40 hours a week and struggle to put food on my table and gas in my car. I don’t expect anyone to provide my family or to assume I feel entitled, trust me when I tell you I know I am entitled to nothing but the air I breath and more often than not I wonder when I’ll start being charged for that. I know I am responsible for my family and myself but there are times I would like to know I am not alone in my struggle and that it is ok to not smile and nod.


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